Throwing a Frisbee is a daunting task even for an adult. One can’t even fathom throwing a Frisbee with their feet. Amazingly, Tony Melendez can. Born without arms, musician Tony Melendez turned what one may call a sad situation around into carefree, God-loving life.
“It was amazing how much confidence he had. Even without arms, he is comfortable in his position and has an unending smile on his face,” said senior Bridgette Lappe.
Tony Melendez and the Toe Jam band set up their guitars and drums in the Mount de Sales Academy gym on January 20, 2012. A benefactor donated money to the school so that Tony could demonstrate his amazing talent to the community. To get students excited for the March for Life, Tony performed songs about the sanctity of life on the guitar with his feet. Putting the pick in between his toes and pressing down the chords with his other foot, Tony strummed away like a rock star and engaged the student body in singing. Constantly cracking jokes about his condition, Tony made the students laugh. His brother offered an inside look into family life with Tony, even sheepishly admitting that he was ashamed of his disabled brother. Tony, however, taught not only his brother life lessons, but encouraged the student body to chase their dreams.
Dreaming of making a basket with the Frisbee, Tony remarkably caught the Frisbee in between his neck and shoulder, and then launched the saucer with his foot. Even though he missed, he said he would never give up—a moral he never wants any of his peers to forget.
C. O’Keefe ’12